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This red velvet Oreo cake is a super fun twist on red velvet cake! This light and fluffy cake is paired with a creamy Oreo buttercream and layers of Oreo cookies baked right into the cake. It’s heavenly!
Although many will say red velvet isn’t a flavor, the rich red color makes me feel like it is! Since my red velvet cookies are such a hit around Valentine’s Day, I thought I should get to work on another red velvet recipe for this year!
This Oreo red velvet cake is easy to make and so delicious! Although red velvet cake is typically paired with cream cheese icing, this recipe uses an Oreo buttercream (the same one used in this chocolate Oreo cake recipe) instead and the cake is just sweet enough to balance out the buttercream.
Why This Is The Best Red Velvet Oreo Cake
- Each red velvet cake layer has Oreos baked right into it, and there are crushed Oreos in the buttercream too! If you want even more Oreo flavor, you can even add chopped Oreos to the cake batter.
- The cake batter is made using the reverse creaming method, where the butter is mixed directly into the dry ingredients, which gives the cake a soft and fluffy crumb.
- This is a two layer cake recipe, but you can easily make it into a 3 layer cake and it can be made using different sized pans (I've provided instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post).
- If you prefer your cake to have a cream cheese frosting instead of the Oreo buttercream, you can make your favorite cream cheese frosting and use that instead!
- This cake is perfect for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or any other holiday!
- Flour: This recipe was developed with all-purpose flour, and has not been tested with gluten free flour.
- Butter: This recipe has been tested with regular butter and dairy free butter - both work great!
- Buttermilk: you can use regular buttermilk, or you can make your own dairy free buttermilk by adding 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk (more detailed instructions are further down in the post).
- Red Food Coloring: I use the liquid kind, but you can use gel as well. The amount needed will vary, so adjust the amount to your preference of color.
- Oreos: regular classic Oreo’s work best.
- Cocoa Powder: I recommend unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder, but if you only have natural, that works fine.
- Vegetable Shortening: If you are making this cake using dairy free butter, vegetable shortening will help create a firmer buttercream that holds its shape at room temperature. If you’re using regular dairy butter you can replace the shortening with more butter (1:1).
Step By Step Instructions
Step One: Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare two 8 inch round cake pans. Spray the inside of each pan with cooking spray. Cut round pieces of parchment paper out in the shape of the pans and place one into each pan. Place Oreos into the bottom of the pan in an even layer until you can’t fit anymore (16 Oreos per pan). Make your buttermilk, then set aside.
Step Two: In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, food coloring, and eggs, then set aside. In the bowl of a standing or handheld mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
Step Three: Add the butter into the bowl with the dry ingredients and use the paddle attachment on your mixer to mix it together with the dry ingredients until combined and somewhat crumbly. Pour the wet ingredients in and mix until combined and there are no more lumps.
Step Four: Divide the cake batter between the cake pans then bake for 22-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
Step Five: Let the cakes cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled. Meanwhile, make the Oreo buttercream.
Step Six: Crush the whole Oreo cookies up using a food processor, or put them in a ziploc bag and roll over the bag with a rolling pin. You can also finely chop them, and make the chunks as large or as small as you’d like (I like to use a mix of crumbs with some big chunks as well). Set aside.
Step Seven: Add vegetable shortening (or butter if not using dairy free butter) and butter to the bowl of your mixer, then mix until smooth, then add the vanilla and salt. Add in powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until your desired consistency is reached. If the buttercream is too thick, add in 1 teaspoon of milk to thin it out.
Step Eight: Add in the Oreo crumbs (and chunks) into the buttercream. Cover and refrigerate until the cakes have completely cooled. Assemble the cake layers (see tips below) and enjoy!
Assembling The Cake
When you remove the cakes from the pan, you can leave them to cool upside down on the cooling rack, which helps flatten out the top of the cake. This makes it easier to stack the layers!
To assemble the cake, put the thickest cake layer onto your cake plate, cake stand, or cake board. Top it with a big scoop of buttercream and spread it around with an offset spatula, leaving about an inch of unfrosted cake around the outside edges.
Place the second layer of cake on top, then freeze the cake for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the cake from the freezer and use an offset spatula to frost the cake with a small amount of frosting.
Smooth it out using a bench scraper, scraping the crumb filled frosting into a separate bowl so that the crumbs don't mix into the rest of the Oreo buttercream. Don't worry if it’s not pretty, as this is your crumb coat and this layer will be covered. Freeze the cake again for 15 minutes, then add the remaining frosting to the cake, then decorate!
If you want to learn about how to decorate a cake more in depth, here is a great beginner decorating tutorial.
How To Make Buttermilk From Scratch
If you don’t have buttermilk, or if you are making this cake dairy free, don’t worry - it’s actually super easy to make your own! Add 1 cup of milk to a measuring cup (my favorite dairy free milk to use for buttermilk is soy milk, but any kind will work). Stir in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
The milk will start to curdle (I find it doesn’t curdle as much with oat milk, but it still will add that tang to the milk). Since this recipe only calls for one cup of buttermilk, be sure to pour out some of the buttermilk once it’s ready so that you only have one cup of liquid (not one cup plus 1 tablespoon).
Decorating The Cake
Here are a few fun ideas for decorating this red velvet Oreo cake!
- Make a chocolate ganache by melting chocolate chips and coconut cream (or regular cream if not dairy free) over the stove and then drizzling it over the buttercream.
- Pipe buttercream or stabilized whipped cream on top of the cake
- Top the cake with crushed Oreos or mini Oreos
- If you’re making this cake for Valentine’s day, add some red and pink heart sprinkles on top!
- Add a few drops of red food coloring to the buttercream to add more pops of red to your cake! It will be a dark red.
Cake Pan Size Adjustments
Here are a few adjustments in case you would like to make your Oreo red velvet cake in a different size pan:
3 Layer Cake: The easiest way to convert a 2 layer 8 inch cake into 3 layers is to simply divide the batter between three cake pans. With this method, you’ll end up with thinner cake layers, since the cake batter is divided between three pans instead of 2. Another option is to multiply all the ingredients in the recipe by 1.5.
9 Inch Round Cake Pans: The cake layers will be thinner and will bake quicker. Start checking on them after around 16 minutes in the oven.
9x13 Rectangular Pan: To make this into an Oreo red velvet sheet cake, use a 9x13 pan, then bake for around 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since there aren’t multiple layers for a sheet cake, you can halve the Oreo buttercream recipe.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Absolutely! They are truly so perfect for each other. Since red velvet is essentially a mix between a vanilla cake and chocolate cake, Oreos go great with that flavor combination.
A classic red velvet cake traditionally uses cream cheese frosting, not classic buttercream. But this is a TWIST on red velvet cake - not a classic red velvet cake. If an Oreo cake and a red velvet cake came together, this would be the result! I personally prefer buttercream over cream cheese frosting, so that’s how I like to make this cake.
If you have a favorite cream cheese buttercream frosting, you can absolutely replace the Oreo buttercream with your cream cheese buttercream. For a dairy free cream cheese frosting option, check out this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe. For one made with milk ingredients, try this whipped cream cheese frosting.
Not exactly. Red velvet cake is made with buttermilk, which adds a subtle tang. To me, it tastes somewhere in the middle between chocolate cake and vanilla cake. A chocolate cake has much more cocoa powder and chocolate flavor. For example, my chocolate cake recipe has ¾ cup of cocoa powder, whereas this recipe only uses 1 ½ Tablespoons.
I haven’t tested this cake with gluten free substitutions so I can’t say for sure. If you’d like to try it, I recommend using all purpose gluten free 1-1 baking flour with xantham gum. Then replace the Oreos with gluten free Oreos.
Making homemade buttermilk is so easy! You can make it using regular milk or dairy free milk. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk, then let it sit until it looks curdled.
Don't skip the parchment paper lining at the bottom of the pan! Seriously, you’ll thank me later! Everytime I haven’t lined the pan with parchment paper, my cakes always stick to the pan or break, regardless of whether the pan was greased and floured. The parchment paper makes the whole process so much easier.
Do not over-measure your flour - This is the most common mistake bakers make! If you over-measure your flour, the cake will be dry. I strongly recommend weighing it with a $10 kitchen scale or using the scoop and level method.
Adjust the buttercream recipe as needed - If your Oreo buttercream seems too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. Start with around ¼ cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick, you can add in 1 tablespoon of milk until your desired consistency is reached.
Let the cakes cool for at least 20 minutes before taking them out of the pan - otherwise they could fall apart! To remove the cake, run a butter knife around the outside of the cake then flip it over onto the cooling rack.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
The red velvet oreo cake can be stored covered at room temperature for 3-4 days. I like to store mine in a cake carrier.
If you’d like to freeze the cake layers for later, let them cool completely then wrap each individual layer in plastic wrap, and then wrap each one in aluminum foil. Store the cakes in a large ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature.
Store leftover Oreo buttercream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw the buttercream in the fridge, then use a mixer to make it fluffy again before frosting your cake.
You can also freeze any leftovers from the assembled cake in individual slices, using the same process (plastic wrap, then aluminum foil).
More Recipes You'll Love
Red Velvet Oreo Cake
Red Velvet Oreo Cake
- 1 cup buttermilk (regular or dairy free) SEE NOTES
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons liquid red food coloring
- ¾ cup oil (canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or sunflower oil)
- 2 eggs
- 2⅓ cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour SEE NOTES
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter, softened (regular or dairy free)
- 28 Oreos
- 1¼ cup butter, softened (regular or dairy free)
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening (or butter if not dairy free, SEE NOTES)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3¾-4¼ cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 16-20 Oreo cookies, plus more for decorating
Red Velvet Oreo Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by spraying the inside of each pan with cooking spray. Cut round pieces of parchment paper out in the shape of the pans and place one into each pan. Place Oreos into the bottom of the pan in an even layer until you can’t fit anymore (16 Oreos per pan).
- If making your own buttermilk (see notes), make it and set aside. In a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, food coloring, and eggs, then set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing or handheld mixer, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder together.
- Add the butter into the bowl with the dry ingredients and use the paddle attachment on your mixer to mix until combined and crumbly like sand (photos in post above). Add in the wet ingredients in and mix until combined, scraping along the sides of the bowl as you go. Mix until there are no more lumps.
- Divide the cake batter between the cake pans then bake for 22-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled. Meanwhile, make the Oreo buttercream.
- Crush the whole Oreo cookies up using a food processor, or put them in a ziploc bag and roll over the bag with a rolling pin. You can also finely chop them, and make the chunks as large or as small as you’d like (I like to use a mix of crumbs with some big chunks as well). Set aside.
- Add vegetable shortening (or butter if not using dairy free butter) and butter to the bowl of your mixer, then mix until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt. Add in powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until your desired consistency is reached. If the buttercream is too thick, add in 1 teaspoon of milk to thin it out.
- Add in the Oreo crumbs (and chunks) into the buttercream. Set aside and frost the cakes once they've cooled completely. (See post above for tips on assembling and decorating). Enjoy!
The calorie information provided for this recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.